WOODSOME HALL’S Chris Hanson fell back into a tie for 11th place in the Alfred Dunhill Championship with a final-round 76 after holding a share of second place going into both the third and fourth rounds.
But the Yorkshireman showed a €10,000 improvement on his performance in the tournament at Leopard Creek last year when he placed 44th in his first event as a full card-carrying member of the European Tour.
The host nation’s Brandon Stone cruised to a seven-shot victory after producing a closing 67 to finish the week on 22 under par.
Hanson, playing in the final group alongside Stone and another South African, Keith Horne, fell six shots adrift and effectively out of contention after a double bogey at the second and a further dropped shot at the fourth.
Another shot went at nine, and he matched three inward bogeys – including two costly ones at 16 and 18 – with three birdies to come home in level par.
The playing conditions were sweltering and Hanson joked: “Shame my golf wasn’t as hot as the weather, but it was a great week to start the year.
“There were some testing pins out there, for sure.
“It was not to be. I was out of position off the tee and it’s never easy then. But it’s a nice start to the season – now onto Hong Kong.”
Hanson won €18,580 as compared to his Leopard Creek winnings of €7,950 in 2015 and although his 76 partially marred the groundwork laid by earlier rounds of 69 65 68, he reflected: “If I had shot 76 om Friday I would not have even been playing at the weekend.”
The European Tour’s wrap-around 2016-17 season began with concurrent tournaments in South Africa and Australia, with Harold Varner III overcoming local favourite Andrew Dodt in a thrilling final-day battle to win the Australian PGA Championship on the Gold Coast.
Queenslander Dodt had led since day one and went into the final round with a two-shot lead over fellow Australian Ashley Hall and Varner, but the American carded a brilliant closing 65 to take the title by two shots at 19 under.
World No 7 Adam Scott was third at 15 under, a shot clear of Hall.